Hertha Berlin surprised everyone with their stellar play in the first half of the Bundesliga season. Led by Adrian Ramos up top and a great defense in the back, Hertha sit four points out of a spot in next season's Champions League! This isn't the era of the Bundesliga when a club can win the championship after being promoted (1997-98 Kaiserslautern), but if they managed to qualify for the Champions League, it would be quite some story. Last season, Eintracht Frankfurt qualified for the Europa League after being promoted the previous year.
What Went Right
Big Wins Against The Borussias
Hertha Berlin managed to do something that only Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen were able to do in the Hinründe. The beat Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach. The win over Gladbach came in October on a lone goal from Adrian Ramos, and they defeated Borussia Dortmund on the last matchday of 2013 in an error-filled 2-1 affair. While those are just two wins out of eight that they earned, two wins over those two teams is sure to build confidence in the squad as they move forward in the season.
When he was the manager of Augsburg, Jos Luhukay earned the club's promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time, kept the club in the top flight for the first season, and then abruptly resigned. Days later, he signed a contract to become the new head coach at Hertha Berlin, who were in the 2.Bundesliga. Luhukay navigated another run through the second division and won it with Hertha, once again earning promotion to the top flight. He and the board brought in the right collective of players and have taken the Bundesliga by storm during the Hinründe. They currently sit in 6th place, just four points out of a Champions League place. Luhukay has done an excellent job and deserves heaps and heaps of praise.
Adrian Ramos Can't Stop Scoring
You can take a look at the Golden Boot table and see a lot of names that you recognize like Robert Lewandowski, Mario Mandzukic, Pierre Aubameyang, Stefan Kießling, and Vedad Ibisevic. However, sitting in a tie for first place with Lewandowski on 11 goals is Hertha's Adrian Ramos. The Colombian only managed 17 goals in the last two seasons combined, so this is quite the campaign for him thus far. With the World Cup this summer in Brazil, Ramos is positioning himself nicely for a chance to shine on the world stage. If he keeps up the scoring, the question must be asked: Can Hertha retain him?
What Went Wrong
I'm going to go ahead and say that not a lot went wrong for Hertha Berlin in the Hinründe. Sorry. You can nitpick them if you want, but I will not do it.
Second Half Outlook
This Hertha Berlin team is solidly built and plays very well together. I won't discount the fact that they could find themselves in Europe next season. They've built a solid squad full of good Bundesliga players. It's always good to have top flight football back in the nation's capital.